Stony Brook researchers explain efforts to monitor local marine life amid repeated shark sightings
With more than a dozen shark sightings off Nassau County shores this summer, researchers explained Wednesday how they plan to monitor the marine life around us.
Researchers from the Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences say they're tagging sharks in order to understand their diet and their impact on the local ecosystem.
The researchers also maintain an acoustic network that ranges from the Rockaways to Montauk. They say they have tagged 1,200 fish over the last decade.
"Once these tags come in range, which is about 800 meters of this acoustic receiver, it can detect it. It records time, date and sometimes temperature," says research technician Michael Fogg.
They say they've also recently gated the Great South Bay to track movements of fish in and out of the waterway.
Ph.D student Lisa Crawford is focused on their health.
"As the oceans change, humans continue to generate pollution. It's important to understand how the levels of contaminants in the sharks bodies are changing and how the animals are reacting to these environmental stressors," she says.
Another researcher made an interesting discovery, saying, "Sharks have incredibly diverse roles in the New York ecosystem. This means moving forward, that if one of those species was to succumb to local extinction we can actually help predict the ecosystem-wide consequences of that."